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Strains and Sprains

A strain is an injury of a muscle that has been stretched too far, too fast resulting in a tear of the muscle itself and the tissue that supports it. A strained or "pulled" muscle feels stiff and doesn't function well for the few days that it takes to recover.

As we grow older, muscles and ligaments become less flexible and we lose fat both in and around the muscle.  As we lose that fat, there is less lubrication and less elasticity.  Therefore, we are more prone to injury than we were when we were younger. 

A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, usually caused by an extreme bend or twist of a joint such as a knee or ankle. Symptoms include immediate pain and possible swelling. A sprained ligament is painful to use and typically requires rest in order to heal.

Simple Treatment for strains and sprains:
  • Begin the following as soon as possible:

    the involved area for 1 to 2 days
    the injured area for 20-minute periods
    the area with an elastic bandage
    to reduce swelling

  • If needed, use an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Seek medical attention if the injury does not get better.
  • Begin simple range-of-motion exercise and heat after 2 days to help relieve pain and continue heating.
  • Rehabilitation before resuming regular activity helps to strengthen the injured area and may decrease the chance of reinjury.

Fast Fact
Prompt ice treatment speeds healing by 50%, allowing a patient to resume activity faster.







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